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Choosing a weight loss program

With so many weight loss clinics and mail order weight loss remedies seemingly on every street corner and in every mall, how are consumers supposed to know which one will best serve their weight loss and health goals?

Here are some guidelines to help you "weigh in" on the right side and make an intelligent choice:

Does the center offer complete weight loss and weight management programs, or is it one of those that just hands out pills, herbs, snacks, or foods? How long has the program been in operation? Is it just another get-rich-quick business? Is a comprehensive medical evaluation required before starting the program? Do you have to sign a contract? Do you have to pay a large up-front fee? Is the program supervised by medical weight loss professionals or by a businessperson or franchisee? What are the credentials of the staff? Will you find yourself being treated by a salesperson or a receptionist Are statistics available regarding short- and long-term results?What kind of maintenance and weight management programs are provided? Is there long-term follow-up on patients? If so, for how long?

When choosing a weight loss clinic or physician, do not be afraid to ask which area of medicine the physician or Nurse Practitioner has specialized in and when he/she began practicing Weight Management. After all, what could be more important than safeguarding your body and your health?
Why should I choose your program instead of one of the many weight loss centers in town?

There are only a handful of physicians and Nurse Practitioners who are trained in Bariatric Medicine. Bariatrics is a branch of medicine that deals specifically with problems of obesity, or being overweight. It is a very specialized field. Only about 1% of the medical doctors in this country are qualified members of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, and only about 350 have taken and passed the rigorous Board Certification process. Our Physician, Nurse Practitioners, and RN clinical educator are members of the ASBP and adhere to its principles and standards.
Our Nurse Practitioner, Peggy Ostrander, FNP, was one of only SIX NPs nationwide to pass the American Society of Bariatric Medicine PHYSICIAN board certification exam in October 2009. The exam has only been offered to NPs & PAs since October 2009 and is only administered annually.